Michael Prescott’s review published on Letterboxd:
Well I'm glad and relieved to say that I enjoyed this film rather a lot. I also think it's pretty good, although that doesn't make it without fault.
First of all, I'm delighted to report that it barely dragged at all. It could've ended soon for sure so there seemed to be an issue with the editing (unsurprising given the rush they were in to release it, perhaps foolishly) rather than anything else. I thought the scenes of excess, as claimed elsewhere, were justified.
I simply don't understand a couple of the criticisms. Does it sympathise with the character(s)? Of course it doesn't. Even if it did, it's allowed to. You don't need to be spoonfed information or have your handheld throughout, especially when the antiheros of the piece are so obviously repulsive. But it quite obviously shows them in a bad light...
Are the female characters treated badly? Not really sure I get this one either. Scorsese quite clearly writes about what he knows, and that extends to being a male. Complain about lack of female writers/directors all you want, but I don't see a problem with them being cast aside here. It's part of the culture. Is the film degrading? No, not anymore than to Leo or the others in their sex scenes. It makes you feel intentionally uncomfortable at times (e.g. shaving heads, being thankful for $25,000 loan, hitting women, etc.) rather than anything else.
Finally, is it a bit all over the place? Well, yeah. I think it suits the film and they absolutely get away with it, but it's ill-disciplined for sure. Scorsese doesn't do neat and tidy - certainly not in his epic crime films - so it's no surprise to see it such a sprawling mess at times. But I still think Winter's writing and Scorsese's direction ultimately makes up for it. Leo gets better and better as the film goes on, he's terrific, and Jonah Hill is just as funny alongside him.
A long way from perfect as far as constructing a film goes, but a rather exhilirating Gatsby-esque ride along the way. Not a million miles away from American Hustle in certain senses, although I think it's got more depth. A fantastic tale of bankers and their exploits.